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When can the VA reduce my rating "again" after reduction?


jayodizzle

Question

Good morning my fellow veterans, I hope that you may answer this humble request for advice with my particular reduction of rate.

You see, I have been diagnosed with Asthma induced from my OIF/OEF deployments before which included backpains, eczema, fatigue. etc... well, they gave me 100% (though it says P&T also) but now reduced my rating upon seeing improvement of my asthma. Technically, they terminated my whole asthma rating which  now I could only receive an overall 40% from my other symptoms which where before "does not need further evaluation" I held the 100% for 4 years but this last one the 3rd examination, my asthma was deemed improved- so called for the reduction of my rate which was kind of sad because from 2900$ now I receive 587$. So if I may ask,

If I was reduced from my 100% rating to 40%... When can they reduce my rating AGAIN? or would they reduce my rating again in the future time after they gave me this 40%?

 

Thank you very much.

Edited by jayodizzle
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Sorry to hear of your issues, as I too have Asthma bud. I am so tired of the VA coming after us. I just went thru this last month. I too am 100% P&T, yet the VA called me on 2/29 to come in for a Review on my 40% for Bladder issues. Well we drove over 300 miles round trip for a 10 min exam. Well what happened next, they continued my 40%, but then the Damn VA lowered my 30% for Scars down to 10%, even though I never had an Review Exam for my Scars and the Doc never asked me anything about it. Luckily it did not affect my 100% P&T. 

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Va can/does lower your rating at any time.  How long ago did they reduce you?  You may still be able to appeal.  You see, VA can NOT reduce 100% P and T Veterans, UNLESS they can show "actual improvement" under "ordinary conditions of life", that is, while working.  If you are not working, then you should appeal.  

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On 5/30/2016 at 1:30 PM, broncovet said:

Va can/does lower your rating at any time.  How long ago did they reduce you?  You may still be able to appeal.  You see, VA can NOT reduce 100% P and T Veterans, UNLESS they can show "actual improvement" under "ordinary conditions of life", that is, while working.  If you are not working, then you should appeal.  

Well, when I went there I tried my best to technically tell them that I still have some issues with Asthma but there is an "actual improvement" because my spirometry test came out normal parameters (both using albuterol and non.) Well, also, I tried to hide the fact that I work (because I became an EMT and I did medical on it) but its hard, so I just told them the truth that I work.

Yes, The Va could reduce me any time, though its my 100% P and T. My times was not 5 years yet and I only receive my benefits for about 4 yrs. So I kind of expected this. However... I am unsure if they would reduce my other disability ratings after getting done with my asthma? The reduction proposal happened 4 months ago but it came in effect last week this May. I cannot appeal because my records actually say that I improved including the spirometry test.

Now my question is, they terminated my asthma from the disability, would they reduce my rating AGAIN after reducing my 100% to 40%?

I just don't want to lose my last 40% from my back pain to asthma, eczema, and there is another one but I have to look for my record again :( Please help.

Edited by jayodizzle
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On 5/30/2016 at 11:36 AM, Navy04 said:

Sorry to hear of your issues, as I too have Asthma bud. I am so tired of the VA coming after us. I just went thru this last month. I too am 100% P&T, yet the VA called me on 2/29 to come in for a Review on my 40% for Bladder issues. Well we drove over 300 miles round trip for a 10 min exam. Well what happened next, they continued my 40%, but then the Damn VA lowered my 30% for Scars down to 10%, even though I never had an Review Exam for my Scars and the Doc never asked me anything about it. Luckily it did not affect my 100% P&T. 

Thats good to hear they did not reduce your 100%. Me on the other hand, got reduced because they saw improvement in my records (I am an EMT) and my spirometry test came normal. 

Actually, my original was 70% but when they saw my active duty files, they figured I have that OIF/OEF gulf war sickness... so they put 100% on me.

Now the question is, after reducing my 100% to 40%, can they reduce me again in the Future?

My 40% rating was composed with eczema, back pain and something else. Thanks for the help :(

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I'll try to help as I have had an asthma rating for 20+ years and also have been victim of an improper reduction.

12 hours ago, jayodizzle said:

Actually, my original was 70% but when they saw my active duty files, they figured I have that OIF/OEF gulf war sickness... so they put 100% on me.

Now the question is, after reducing my 100% to 40%, can they reduce me again in the Future?

My 40% rating was composed with eczema, back pain and something else. Thanks for the help :(

Broncovet is right that they can pretty much attempt to reduce at any time.

Keep in mind that here are the way the protections work (not counting fraud or jail). Basically, there are three thresholds which help define "protection from reduction":

5 years = Rating is stabilized, must show sustained improvement to attempt reduction
10 years = SC status is protected
20 years = Percentage protected if held continuously for 20 years
 

I have already been through the ringer with the VA about reducing my asthma rating. I had a 60% rating and the VA sent me a "proposal to reduce" letter in the mail stating my 60% asthma rating was only temporary. This is your alert that it is time to fight the reduction, in most cases. I submitted medical evidence along with justification for continuance and figured that would be no problem. I got a letter in the mail stating that it was reduced to 30%. I filed a NOD and eventually saw a DRO for this and other issues. Everything was reversed because they didn't read the rating table correctly and most importantly they ignored the evidence I submitted.

 

I recommend you take a deeper look at what makes the asthma rating special. It contains different criteria for each rating level:

6602   Asthma, bronchial:  
FEV-1 less than 40-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC less than 40 percent, or; more than one attack per week with episodes of respiratory failure, or; requires daily use of systemic (oral or parenteral) high dose corticosteroids or immuno-suppressive medications 100
FEV-1 of 40- to 55-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 40 to 55 percent, or; at least monthly visits to a physician for required care of exacerbations, or; intermittent (at least three per year) courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids 60
FEV-1 of 56- to 70-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 56 to 70 percent, or; daily inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy, or; inhalational anti-inflammatory medication 30
FEV-1 of 71- to 80-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 71 to 80 percent, or; intermittent inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy 10
Note: In the absence of clinical findings of asthma at time of examination, a verified history of asthmatic attacks must be of record.

The VA loves to look only at the FEV-1/FVC values from spirometry and overlook all the other possible ways to be rated for asthma.

Take a look at the 100% criteria:
- FEV-1 less than 40-percent predicted, or;
- FEV-1/FVC less than 40 percent, or;
- more than one attack per week with episodes of respiratory failure, or;
- requires daily use of systemic (oral or parenteral) high dose corticosteroids or immuno-suppressive medications

That's 4 different ways to qualify for 100%. You don't have to qualify under all four conditions. You need only qualify under one of those conditions. The same goes for the rest of the rating percentage levels. If you qualify under different percentage levels, then they are supposed to grant you the highest percentage.

Additionally, for FEV-1/FVC ratings, they are supposed to take a baseline reading first, have you inhale your rescue medication (i.e. albuterol), and then take another reading. Whichever is lower is what the FEV-1/FVC component that should be used.

Also, keep in mind that when they state "systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids), that means things like prednisone, medrol, solumedrol taken orally in pill or injected form -- not inhaled corticosteroids like Intal. This is important because the 60% and 100% rating levels can be met with just being treated with these medications over time. In my case, I have consistently been prescribed 3-6 courses of these meds every year. The VA totally missed this because I also am treated by a private doctor and they did not have access to the records. Yes, I sent form authorizing release and copies of the form. Once verified, they backed off and reinstated the rating. If you got lots of meds like this over the years, dig up the records, prescription history, etc... and show the VA.

You mentioned they completely erased your asthma rating. If your breathing is better than "FEV-1 of 71- to 80-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 71 to 80 percent" and you do not use any rescue inhalers, then that would be the only way they could do that. If you still use an albuterol inhaler "intermittently", they screwed up and you should have at least a 10% rating. If you take inhaled anti-inflammatory inhalers daily, like Asmanex, mometasone furoate, Advair, etc..., then they screwed up and you should have at least a 30% rating.

Check your original award letter and C&P exam. It will specifically tell you exactly why you were given a 100% rating. Then look at your reduction letter and C&P exam and compare them.

 

 

 

 

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